Great to see you back for the second in our three-part series. In the lead up to Christmas, we are devoting our blogs to showcasing the very best books for people in your life. Last week we looked at the best books for children, you can find out why your children deserve great books in last week’s post here. This week, as December moves on a pace, we focus our attention on the group that year after year causes the most present buying angst – the difficult to buy for. A book might not be always be your first thought for this tricky group, but read on to find out why a trip to Booka is exactly what you need. As we take virtual tour to every book filled corner, you are sure to be inspired.


This is a safe place to start. Our biography section is always well stocked at Christmas. Comedians, sports personalities, soldiers, chefs, travellers, actors, and politicians to name but a few, sit side by side for a closer inspection. You are sure to find an interesting personality to pique interest here. Biography is also one of the best places to pick up a signed copy, which will make your gift that little bit extra special. Take a look here at some of the fantastic signed biographies we have available to buy now.


A bit of an overlap with biography here, but another section with great potential. As expected, we have biographies of sporting greats, many signed. But ranging from the practical, to the serious, to the humorous you can also browse volumes devoted to your sport of choice: cricket, cycling, running, rugby, football, boxing, golf, whatever takes your fancy. Participants and armchair enthusiasts alike will find potential for great reading here.

Mindfulness and Wellbeing

You may well raise an eyebrow at the thought of giving a self-help book as a gift, but the mindfulness and wellbeing sector has grown massively in the last few years, with good reasons. Yes, there are still highly practical guides to parenting, dieting, managing money and the like, but it is the inspirational, small, beautiful selections that are worth exploring. Hope, calm and acceptance can literally be found in volumes here, and you can give these knowing that you are making a positive difference too.

Food and Drink

Our food and drink section is looking particularly exciting this month. Cookbooks have always been a great choice for a festive gift and there are some gorgeous examples to buy right now. If you are looking for plant-based food, you will be spoilt for choice, likewise you can find inspiration from cuisine around the world. Far from being just a list of recipes, cookbooks now are works of art, and many include cultural and historical insight to enlighten and inspire. We have a good selection of signed copies in this category too, you can take a look here.


This has long been the hero for the difficult to buy for and we have a super selection this year. If your gift recipient finds any humour in the recent political chaos, it has never been so easy to tap into that. Likewise, rejected letters to The Editor, cartoon collections, annuals, cheeky critiques, are all in top form. Can’t face any more politics? Don’t worry, there are funny animals, British stereotypes, gender observation, and abstract silliness to keep you laughing in these tough times.

Arts and Culture

Lots of choice here. Take a look at our music section for some more focused biography choices, as well as genre defining works on the music industry. If photography or art is a passion then this might be the time to indulge in one of our beautiful creative books with extensive illustration. Film may also provide books of interest, whether it’s a dive into the industry or a the making of a cult classic. Like your craft more practical? We have books devoted to different hobbies from knitting to bee-keeping, and remember that we can order in almost any in-stock book for you within a couple of days if you would like something we haven’t got.

History and Current Affairs

If the person you are buying for likes to take their politics more seriously, its good news. Our current affairs section is making a valiant effort to inject some order into world chaos. Want to understand Trump’s America, or the current status of civil rights, or third wave feminism, or the banking industry? Make your first stop here. Or to understand how we got here in the first place, turn to our history section. The best history books will stand up confidently against the most thrilling fiction bestseller to keep you page turning to the very end.

Science and Nature

You can find an exciting mixture here. On the one hand you have popular science topics explained for everyone, and a really great selection of books about the environmental crisis. If you want to cut down your plastic usage, understand ethical veganism, do you bit against global warming, start here. This section also offers books on everything natural: birds, bees, animals, the ocean, trees, ponds, both practical and celebratory. One of our widest ranging selections, this is worth proper exploration.


Thanking about your next big holiday already or know someone who is? We have an extensive collection of the best publishers of travel guides to worldwide destinations to give your wanderlust something to think about, and don’t forget we can order in a destination where there is a guide book for it out there. If your destination is currently unknown, there are more general guides to campervanning, camping, walking to spark excitement about your next big trip.


As always, Christmas is a great time for a puzzle book and there is worthy food for thought here. More traditional IQ tests, Ordinance Survey, GCHQ, abstract thinking, celebrity specials, there will be something here to take your fancy and keep the brain sharpened over the festive period.


A brave choice for the difficult to buy for, but don’t dismiss it unduly. Christmas themed books (often of a classic crime variety) are an easy win for someone you know likes a murder mystery. Or take a risk with a book you know they would like if they took the trouble to read it, or the book of a film or TV series they like. Thankfully, books keep very well, so if it is not immediately read on Christmas Day, be patient. A good book is worth waiting for.


It isn’t possible in this short post to cover everything! Some books don’t easily fit into categories and are really best found by browsing, but we have worked hard to make sure that there really is a book in Booka for everyone. We also have a very special collection of book and non-book related gifts this year. Stationary, earthenware, cards, bags, tins of tools prints, lovely delicate Christmas decorations and much much more that is really best seen by visiting. Booka and National Book Tokens, will give you the freedom to give the gift of choice.

So, come on down, head upstairs first, ask our lovely staff and don’t give up on finding that perfect book. It will be out there somewhere. Join us next week for the final part of our three-part series: books for the serious book lovers.